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International institutions and the EU

20.8.2018, , Zdroj: Verlag Dashöfer

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International institutions and the EU

Edward Thomas

1. INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS: GOING INTERNATIONAL

Every day the news includes more and more of the actions of international organisations. So-called globalisation is happening between both governments and business.

Look at the following names of international institutions. Can you put their acronyms into the right categories in the table which follows them.


  • World Trade Organisation

  • World Bank

  • United Nations

  • World Health Organisation

  • International Monetary Fund

  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

  • Nuclear Energy Agency

  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

  • International Criminal Court

  • International Court of Justice

  • United Nations Educational, Science and Culture Organisation


Economic Civil
                                              
                                             
                                             
                                            
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                              
                                             
                                             
                                            
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             

Correct answers are here1

2. BUT WHAT DO THEY DO?

In the two boxes below there are names of international institutions and verbs describing what they do. In the sentences which follow there are key verbs and words missing. Can you: a) identify the sentence with the institution and b) add the right verbs and words from the selection?


World Trade Organisation, World Bank, United Nations, World Health Organisation, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Nuclear Energy Agency, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, International Criminal Court, International Court of Justice, United Nations Educational, Science and Culture Organisation
allows, promote, help, ensure, negotiate, foster, monitor, brings together, settle, are responsible for, provide, act
growth, disputes, assistance, health matters, climate, democracy, power sources, Member States, easily, crimes

1) We …………………………… financial and technical …………………………… to developing countries around the world.2

2) We …………………………… in cases of serious …………………………… of international concern.3

3) Our job is to …………………………… nations to trade more …………………………….4

4) We …………………………… international co-operation among 193 …………………………… …………………………… and six Associate Members in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.5

5) We …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… providing leadership on global …………………………… …………………………….6

6) It is one of our major goals to …………………………… economic …………………………… and high levels of employment.7

7) Our organisation …………………………… …………………………… the governments of countries commited to …………………………… and the market economy.8

8) Our task is to …………………………… that countries develop safe and peaceful nuclear …………………………… …………………………….9

9) Our main task is to …………………………… legal …………………………… between nation states. We work for the UN, actually.10

10) We are a permanent body which …………………………… representatives of nation states to meet and …………………………… international agreements.11

11) The task we are given is to …………………………… the world's ……………………………, especially looking at so-called global warming.12

Correct answers are here13

3. INTERRELATIONSHIPS

Read these quotes adapted from a speech by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to an Indian audience, and answer the questions which follow it True or False.

300 years ago John Donne said no man is an island.

In the world of 2008, our self-interest and our shared interest are the same. In my view the nature of our greatest possibilities and problems, from the economy to security and the environment, is transnational. The solutions to these problems must also be transnational. And this can only work with international institutions that promote cooperation out of shared interest and predictability and accountability.

***

There is a great need to finance sustainable environmental development in developing countries. So while we will strengthen the World Bank's focus on poverty and on poverty reduction, the World Bank's capacity and its global reach should make it also for the first time the World Bank for the environment. This will ensure that its development programmes provide assistance for both poverty reduction and climate change.

I propose our new International Environmental Transformation Fund which is worth nearly $2 billion as a first step. I propose the creation out of that of a global climate change fund, a multi-billion fund operating within the World Bank's clean energy investment framework. This is to help finance low carbon investment, sustainable forestry programmes and climate resilience development in the poorest countries.

So my vision is a new international framework for providing climate change assistance from the developed to the developing world and a change which can reduce environmental destruction and increase prosperity for all.

***

Now the second major reason for reform of our international rules and institutions is to find new ways of dealing with global financial chaos and find new ways to achieve global prosperity that benefits not just some, but all. Remember that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were created for the age of nation states. Now they have to change to be ready for a world where national problems, like the financial problems in the US recently, can quickly become global problems too.

Financial markets and capital flows have been transformed by globalisation, and so I propose big changes to international institutions. I propose that the IMF should act with the same kind of independence as a central bank in a national country. It should observe the global economic and financial system, to prevent crises and not simply to manage or resolve them. A wider role for the IMF is what we need - an early warning system against financial chaos hitting the global economy. The International Monetary Fund should try to develop a financial instrument that can insure well managed economies against sudden changes in capital flows.

We should therefore examine the roles of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in low income countries so that their work is properly strengthened and coordinated.

Answer the following questions about the Prime Minister's speech with True or False.

1) The needs of individual countries and the general needs are different.

2) General problems need international solutions.

3) Environmental issues need to be added to the World Banks's tasks.

4) Poverty reduction has to become less important.

5) The global climate change fund will be independent of the World Bank.

6) Climate change action may mean there is less wealth.

7) One reason for institutional changes is to deal with financial crises.

8) The IMF and World Bank are slightly old fashioned.

9) The IMF should mainly try to solve economic crises.

10) The IMF should have techniques of offering financial help to well managed countries hit by financial chaos.

Correct answers are here14

4. KEY WORDS - WHAT'S WHAT IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

To survive in the world of international institutions you need to know the key words. That's why below you will find a series of key terms. All you have to do is connect them with the right definitions or synonyms.


1) Obstacles a) discussions for two or more groups to decide common views or deal with disagreements
2) Disputes b)states which belong to an organisation
3) Agreements c) a condition or situation damaging or dangerous to a physical body or social group.
4) Democracy d) statements about what is and is not allowed in trading situations
5) Member states e) a diverse group meeting in a place to discuss points of view.
6) Crimes f) a solution to a problem, for example a disagreement or dispute
7) Trade rules g) two or more people who accept or think the same thing.
8) Forum h) where two parties need the same thing
9) Negotiations i)where development happens without damaging the world around it, to make future development possible
10) Disease j) the place around us- usually similar to nature or the countryside.
11) Procedure k) where the long term weather is changing
12) Settlement l) actions that are against the law
13) Shared interest m) disagreements / conflicts
14) Self-interest n) where people are too poor for basic human needs to be met
15) Sustainable development o) help
16) The environment p) difficulties / problems / barriers
17) Climate change q) a structure
18) Poverty r) a system of government where the whole adult population has a vote in elections to decide who governs.
19) Assistance s) the order (chronologically) in which things are managed
20) Framework t) where one party needs something specific to itself.

Correct answers are here15

5. THE EU IN BRIEF

What‘s that then?

Central to understanding any institution is understanding the key words which describe its organisation. Look at the terms in the box below. Can you fit them into the right sentence which follow?


treaty, member state, parliament, legislation, ministers, commission, council, institutions, foreign policy, justice, president, prime minister,

1) What the EU needs is well established …………………………… which can conduct its business.

2) The Nice …………………………… reformed the structure of the EU to allow for expansion eastwards.

3) …………………………… …………………………… has traditionally been one of the tasks which only national governments carry out- but this is changing.

4) …………………………… are people who are appointed by national governments to control areas of government like health or education.

5) The …………………………… …………………………… is the head of a government.

6) The …………………………… is the head of a state.

7) The …………………………… will meet on Thursday and decide on a general approach to this matter.

8) The …………………………… will decide exactly what legislation will be proposed.

9) …………………………… is an area where all Member States have quite specific needs depending on the kind of crime problems they have.

10) The Commission is responsible for proposing …………………………… - the detailed principles on which legal codes in different countries are developed.

11) All …………………………… …………………………… have to agree to certain principles of co-operation.

12) Members of the European …………………………… (MEPs) face elections in their home countries every five years.

Correct answers are here16

6. AT THE CENTRE

Read through the following description of the EU's main governing bodies. Answer True or False to the questions which follow.

The Council

The Council of the European Union is the main decision-making institution in the EU, which means that it discusses proposals and decides if they are acceptable. It is often informally called the Council of Ministers or just the Council. It is composed of 27 members - one for each Member State, but these change depending on the topic - if it's agriculture, for example, then the agriculture ministers of the members are present.

The European Council

Don't be confused by the name - the European Council is a different body. It is composed of all the head of state or government of the EU members. It has neither legislative nor executive powers but is there to give general political direction through very expensive summits with excellent food and wine that happen about twice a year! Nice for some! It is headed by a rotating presidency so that each EU Member State hold the presidency for six months.

The Commission

The European Commission

 
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